Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thanks for being a part of a wonderful Foodival!

We needed a couple of days to recover from and relish the festivities of the weekend - now, here is our Foodival wrap-up report!

The sun was shining for Tooting Foodival festival day and the Foodival banner knitted by Penny (a.k.a. the Phantom Knitter of Tooting) looked gorgeous against the blue sky.

Hundreds of you joined in the fun and we hit our goal of serving food to over 300 people. In fact, together, we served up over 600 portions from food grown locally and donated to Foodival during the BATCA Community Fun Day and Foodcycle the day before.  And over 60 people and organisations have told us what they're growing in Tooting - you're all now on the map! See the wonderful pictures from Saturday's donation points here and from Sunday below.

"I've never seen so many smiling faces as I did over Tooting Foodival weekend", said Tooting Foodival event director, Dave Mauger. "This is thanks to all those who planned and took part in the event. We would like to say a massive thank you to all the volunteers, fruit and veg growers, restaurants, performers, stallholders, guests and everyone who made the 2014 Tooting Foodival our biggest and most successful ever! What a fantastic way to celebrate the vast amount of local growers and wide variety of Tooting restaurants! See you in 2015!" 

Seven restaurants and twelve local cooks rustled up tasty dishes for the crowds.  The dishes were so tasty that we didn't get any pictures! (Next year, next year, we promise!).
Local residents Indrajit and Jaya brought in some very tasty curry with rice and lassi for the crowds as a surprise.  And Mark Watson came back to Foodival for a second run, brewing up his delicious herbal teas made with foraged plants from Tooting and Bungay.

Meanwhile, Top Tooting Cook judges Kate Allan, secretary of BATCA, Mr (Chris) Nappy Valley, Rick Gibbs of Rick’s Restaurant and Manisha Patel from Pooja had a tough time deciding which local cooks would win the coveted prize this year. Congratulations to Amrit Sachar who was crowned Top Tooting Cook for 2014 for her Goodness Graveney Me small aubergine canape using aubergine grown by her mum at home! She won a dinner for two at Meza with wine.

There was a second year of controversy in the Top Tooting Cook competition, as TTT's very own David Thorne took second prize for his mixed vegetable curry, made with home grown beetroot and squash.  And congratulations to Yasmin who won third prize for her mixed vegetable samosas and spicy coriander chutney.  All of her ingredients were picked up from Foodival on Saturday and she won a cookery lesson donated by last year's winner "What's for Dinner?"

The food wasn't the only feast laid on for visitors. A wealth of talented performers kept the crowds entertained all afternoon: singer/songwriters Dermot Jones, Jonathan Buckley and Vince Burke, talent-of-tomorrow London Young Voices children's choir, comic performer Sam Quinn and his unique tombola, amazing sleight of hand magician Marc Kerstein, Blues masters Slim Estrada Trio who put the South into south London, the utterly brilliant Randolph Matthews who blew the audience away with his entertaining blend of soulful jazz and ethnic beatbox, and finally local folk heroes, the Bara Bara Band.

Venture around the venue and there was plenty more fun to be had. Guests worked up an appetite learning how much energy it takes to power speakers and light bulbs by bike. It was a joy to see so many people sweating it out to play a three minute song.  From young kids who could hardly reach the peddles, to Sadiq Khan MP and a lady who remembers a similar contraption that powered her lights when she lived in Sri Lanka!

Over 60 people walked off their dinner with the premier of Tootingwalks - a new project developed by fanSHEN theatre who also performed the wonderfully entertaining play, the Apple Cart. The walks are available to download for free from fanSHEN’s website. We can't wait to be guided on a walk around Tooting!

Upstairs, guests enjoyed more tasty treats - honey from Streatham Cemetary, local chutneys from Hilary's preserves, and home-made cakes from China Jordan and Klevis Kola’s Chickpea Sisters. Many spent time pinning food on the world map, playing green living jenga and the human fruit machine with Carbon Collaborations, while others spent time decorating cakes and learning about vegetable ivory jewellery.

Twenty-eight people made leaves for SMArT's Tooting Future Tree to think about what people want to grow in Tooting. The leaves featured wishes for love, a rugby field and more sycamore trees among them. If that wasn’t enough, there was also plenty of opportunity to learn about healthy eating with Niamh's Nutrition, local energy with Furzedown Low Carbon Zone and growing projects with Transition Town Tooting.

David Thorne, co-chair of Transition Town Tooting gave his perspective on the weekend.
“We want to say thanks to everyone who donated produce to Foodival. We couldn't have done this without that locally grown food. It's amazing to see just how many people are growing in Tooting and the variety that's growing from dozens of chillies growing on windowsills to tomatoes, courgettes, chard, squash and cabbages. Our map of what’s growing in Tooting shows just how many people are growing and we really enjoyed taking the pictures of all the people who donated their locally grown produce on Saturday. It was great to have space for collections at the BATCA Funday and the Foodcycle lunch where many great connections were made!
Thanks also to the 30+ volunteers, who gave so many hours in the run up to and during the weekend. Foodival is totally run by volunteers and funded in part by the Wandsworth Eco Fund and the donations received on the day. We'll see you all next year!”

Thanks from the whole team at Transition Town Tooting. We can't wait for the eighth Foodival in 2015! We're keen to get your feedback on Foodival. Either pop a comment on the blog below, get in touch or fill in our survey here.


  1. I have attended lots of food event and my experience was great. The way that event organizers organized the whole event was adorable.

  2. Such a great event it was. I really wish if something on these lines come up. Over here I find many of NYC events too complex and never can make out the point why everything looks so artificial and superficial.


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